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nnadelizi

First Time On Track!

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I am checking off one of those bucket list items, and finally getting a chance to track my car at the Bash! I plan to just have fun and take it easy. It is my first time on any track, so I hope I can get a ride along with an experienced person. The car has 15k miles on it, an adjustable pan hard bar, 20 inch wheels, and the SC package. I understand I should change out the oil to 5-30 weight so I will do that. Is there anything else I am missing? Any comments would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Nick

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Check brake pads, rotors, tires, and flush your brake fluid.

Edited by stngfever

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Yep tires are going to be the one item that will help. Going to be tough with 20's but first time just have fun.

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ALSO, given the cost of track time, take extra brake pads and tools to change them if you want to be sure you won't have to end the day early due to worn pads. this isn't as critical if you get good new track pads for the event.

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They put on new pads when I got the GT/SC conversion done. I think they are Hawk racing pads along with the crossed drilled rotors. Only a few miles on them. I hope that will be fine. Thanks for the input Jason!

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I doubt they are pads for track use. They likely gave you street HPS pads, HP Plus is the minimum hawk pad for open track. I could be wrong though.

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Nick,

My suggestion is to have your car looked over just before you go to the Bash. Tires, brakes, filters, and fluids should all be fresh before driving it to Vegas and then onto the track. Once at the track you should have brought an extra quart of engine oil, new brake fluid, new set of front brake pads, one man brake bleeder bottle, 11mm or whatever size the bleeder screw is on your car wrench, tire pressure gauge, torque wrench, wheel lug socket, and CASH. The situations that most people face when going to the track are; brake pedal fade, excessive tire wear, needing to buy gas. If you're able to bleed your brake fluid, fill the car with gas, rotate the tires or even reset the tire pressures and keep the oil level up in the engine then most the simple things are covered. As long as you keep the car on the track there shouldn't be any cause for other things. There will be others there that bring more so if needed - ask and make friends. JMO

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Thanks Albino500 for all the information! I better get started now to make sure I am prepared. I am just going to take it easy and have fun. I have been following your success on Team Shelby with your SGT and admire your experience. Hey, how about some free lessons at the Bash! LOL!

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Nick,

When you replace your break fluid make sure you use a hi-temp one(one with a higher boiling point), not just standard brake fluid. And if you haven't already, replace your rubber brake lines with stainless steel ones. Those 2 alone will help a lot with brake fade.

 

Like Albino said earlier, take care of the simple things. You're going to the track for a weekend of fun, you're not building a purpose built race car.

 

Most importantly, have FUN!!!

 

Dan

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Thanks Dan! I believe we met at a Shelby event in Gardena last year. I do have the stainless brake lines but I will need to change out the fluid. See you at the Bash!

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Exactly what everyone else said! I would drain the brake fluid and put in a high quality high temp dot 4 and if you could get it quickly enough a set of brake cooling ducts work extremely well. Also make sure you inspect everything thoroughly before you go, especially the brake lines.

Edited by ledfoot73

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You probably have the bigger brakes and can not run the stock 18s but if you can.....save your 20s and burn the bfgs. They are better for suspension of the sgt. There may be some that are opposed to this but i have my fun factor reasons. Dont forget the turkey baster.

image.jpg

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I am checking off one of those bucket list items, and finally getting a chance to track my car at the Bash! I plan to just have fun and take it easy. It is my first time on any track, so I hope I can get a ride along with an experienced person. The car has 15k miles on it, an adjustable pan hard bar, 20 inch wheels, and the SC package. I understand I should change out the oil to 5-30 weight so I will do that. Is there anything else I am missing? Any comments would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Nick

Nick...you have earned lots of good advice on how to prep your car for your first event, and I love seeing this. You have a brotherhood in your corner, remember that. I don't know which track you are going to, but I have been on several in the 'Vegas area. Spring Mountain is the best, IMHO. So...my advice is how to prepare Nick.

 

Ego...Leave it in the hotel room. You are a NOVICE, wear that proudly, another brotherhood awaits you and one as helpful as this one here. Hook up with someone at the Bash who has some seat time, follow his/her guidance.

 

Racing apparel is not necessary at this time, but if you have it, wear it. Entry level stuff isn't very expensive, but it is entry level. Wear clothing that is 100 percent cotton with high visibility, you are not Johnny Cash. 100% cotton is the slowest burning material available to you. Full length jeans, socks, soft sided gym shoes, headsock, gloves (high color gloves) and long sleeve shirts. As much pure cotton content as you can acquire. When it's time, pick your race clothing carefully. My full length jumpsuit is yellow, I want to be seen when out of the car. Also, a fire-retardant suit doesn't work alone, get a size larger than you wear and allow for cotton layers.

 

Helmet, if you do not have one yet, should be SNELL approved and within wear date. If not, you may have to rent a loaner. Don't worry what you look like, no one there is watching. I like SIMPSON and prefer a 3/4 face helmet. I don't like stuff over my face, but I have a NOMEX full face headstock too. SNELL date is hidden inside.

 

Most large meets have a few instructors or seasoned drivers in the paddock. Ask, and you will get a co-pilot. For a novice, all guidance is good. Despite my hours in the saddle, I love having someone along for the ride. When you are done, offer a tip. 20 bucks an hour is a decent place to start. Have one along for your first inspection too, and listen to both the inspector, and your co-pilot. Some things are "regional" rules, I.e. "this is what we do here".

 

Driver's meetings are mandatory, again leave your ego at the door. Get there early and get up front. Ask about everything on your mind. Novices are very cool with vets, someone will offer to help.

 

Most tracks have lunch and fuel on hand, both can be pricey. Don't fill either tank to the top, consume as the day passes. Just enough fuel and lunch to get through the next heat, refill as you go.

 

If multiple cars are allowed on track, drive at your own comfort level. Stay to the right and high in the turns. If passing is allowed, give and get clear hand signals, black gloves bad. Watch for, and follow the flag man's guidance, should be several on track with flags in major corners. Acknowledge them, they are usually volunteers and there for the day. Let them feel worth it.

 

No need for high speed yet, get comfortable with the track. The "candy stripe" corners are there to be driven on, not avoided. They will help you draw your "line" on the opening lap. Once you have your line, stay on it and polish out the rough spots. The vets behind you will be watching you stay on your line, and they will (should) respect your space.

 

Other stuff...Clean out your car, secure anything not screwed in place. Empty glove box, back seat and trunk. The less floating around, the better. Your paddock is respected, no one will bother your stuff if stacked and covered. Cheap shower curtains from Wal-Mart work for me. Decent (and disposal) ground cloths, and one to cover stuff while on track.

 

Fire extinguisher...ABC at least, and bolted down. Should be within your reach. More a show of safety awareness, but you never know. This is also dated equipment.

 

Racing harness...Dated. Many good sets to pick from, none really that expensive for a novice. I suggest IMPACT as a good company to start with. Great customer service, with real drivers. A harness will keep you in the saddle, wear it as tight as you can take it. Starter kits will use existing floor bolts for the lap belt, but you may have to drill the floor pan and install an eye-bolt for shoulder belts (grade 8, 2"). Don't cry, just do it. Sub belt probably not necessary yet, but will be someday if this sport clings to you.

 

Drive "up on the wheel", keep your elbows, knees and ankles flexible. This will save you serious injury to joints if you crash. Also good leverage when driving one handed while shifting.

 

Once the day (weekend) is done, go get yourself some "pit stripes". You earned them. Hope this starts the fire under other ways to enjoy your Shelby. For me, it's never been so good. Maybe someday, you'll be posting stuff like this for the next novice in line.

 

Have to leave some meat on the bone for others. Sorry for the long post, gents, but that's me.

 

 

God bless you, Nick, have a good time.

 

Y'all be safe.

Edited by LuLu
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LuLu,

Thanks for taking the time to give me this valuable information. I will just take it easy, have fun, and hopefully learn a bit! BTW, I will be at the Bash and Spring Mountain.

Thanks again!

Nick

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Good stuff, LuLu. You're a generous guy.

 

I will take a couple of lines to emphasize the basic theme of my lectures to driver-school participants when I was an SCCA Chief Steward:

 

"You are not here to go fast, or even to learn to go fast. You are here to find out what is important to getting through the day, the weekend, and the rest of your career as a racing driver.

 

"The most important thing is to pay attention to the most important things. If you are a prodigy of some kind, you'll just naturally know what those things are. Trouble is, what you just naturally know is not necessarily right, righteous, or correct. As you learn what is actually important, you will be able to take charge of your attention and spread it around effectively.

 

"Your Competition Rules book will talk about almost every aspect of the racing experience, and in reading and rereading it you will develop a sense of what the rules-writers think is important. Temper that with the recommendations, explicit and implied, by your instructors and event officials, certainly, but remember, that book is the law.

 

"Find out who those officials are, and learn what they can do for you and what they expect from you. I have just one demand, and it's not the only one you need to pay attention to, but it is critical to your continued success in the program:

 

"First lap on the track, look for and note the locations of turn personnel, and give them a direct look and a thumbs-up. You will have pinpointed an important feature of the track, and created a positive relationship with some of the most-important people in your racing life."

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Well, I am back from the Bash and what an awesome experience it was, especially the track event. I was a little nervous at first but as time went on I was feeling more comfortable. The first three sessions I had an instructor ride with me and that really tought me a lot. Then I had one of the instructors drive my car and that really helped me in understanding the correct lines to drive. It also made more confident not in myself but in the car. I couldn't believe that my car could get around corners and brake like that, and he really wasn't pushing it. So as I started trusting the car a little more, I was really having fun. For a first timer that is! There was no techincal problems with the car except for a cotter pin I got in my back tire at the end of the first day.

Thank you all for your input and advise! It really helped!

Nick

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It was good seeing you at the Bash Nick, and glad you had a great time. Now that you've got one track event behind you, I know that you're going to want to do more!!

Dan

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Glad you had a great experience. On track is where the SGT shines and is just BIG fun.

It may have been mentioned before, but consider track insurance for next time. Having made a claim before, I am a believer.

Safe driving & God bless.

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Bravo, Nick!

 

I'm happy you had a good experience for your first time. Already, you are a better, safer driver.

 

Caught myself smiling to no one here as I read your post. Nice to think we here helped you, one way or another. Can't wait to read about your next adventure on a road course, hopefully soon.

 

Y'all be safe.

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Nick

Glad you had a great experience. Looking forward to my first one in about a month. 2 questions, did you switch back to 18" wheels or run the 20", what brake pads did you use?

Don

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Don,

I have the 20/9 inch razor wheels with 255/275 tires. Shelby installed the brake package when they did the SC upgrade so I believe they use the Hawk racing pads. Same calipers, but with new rotors, stainless steel lines, and high temp fluid. I have been wondering the same thing about using the 20's versus the 18's so I had Mike take my car out. He is an advanced driver and was tearing it up with his stock Shelby GT. He also owns a Boss 302. I wanted to see what he thought of the 20's because his car had the 18's. He was a little hesitant at first, but I told him he didn't have to push it. He took it out for about 4 laps and wow! He really new how to handle the car! He said he was surprised at well the 20's felt, sounding fairly positive on them. He also commented that the car felt a lot like his Boss in the handling area. I wasn't to confident in the brakes because they are not the 6 piston, but he said they were fine. My son-in-law worked at Firestone so I purchased the Indy 500 Wide Ovals from him. They seemed to work well. Next time I will drop the hot tire pressure to 38/36. I was at 40/38 at the end of a session.

Nick

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Thank you for that info Nick. I have the same wheel/tire size setup but mine is naturally aspirated. No brake package. I installed stainless brake lines and based on the information from you and others on this site I will go ahead and flush brake system with Dot 4 high temp brake fluid and get a set of either hawk or ebc pads.

Don

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